Friday, 21 September 2012

Circuit Board & USB 'Dog Tag' Necklace

What do you do with a broken computer mouse? Or anything else that plugs into the computer, for that matter?

Throw it away? Toss it into a cupboard and forget about it?

Hold your horses!
Don’t just toss it, cannibalise it!

Unscrew screws, cut wires, take stuff out that you can use (and drop off any leftover metals at your nearest recycling point!). Just be careful if you’re playing with anything that might hold an electrical charge, and watch for sharp edges.

Amongst a heap of broken computer stuff I was given for crafting with, was a broken card reader (I think that’s what it was anyway!) Basically a bit of plastic with a bit of circuit board inside, attached to a USB plug.

I wanted to make something with a more masculine edge to share with you here, so this is what I came up with:

My inspiration was dog tags. The circuit board especially reminded me of a tag.
As I happened to have a necklace with multiple strands of ball chain, I took a strand off to use for this craft :)

Of course I have a tutorial for you too. So if you’re looking for a little inspiration or what to know how to make one of these USB and circuit board necklaces.

DIY men's dog tag necklace tutorial

You’ll need:
Broken USB device (or a damaged USB cord!)
Piece of circuit board (from the device or elsewhere) cut to size and drilled with hole if necessary
4 Jump rings
Jewellery wire
Flat nosed pliers
Round nosed pliers
Wire cutters

geek-friendly computer circuit board necklace DIY

1. Chop the plug off the USB device, as close to the rubbery surround as possible.

a necklace for a computer genius

2. Cut a piece of wire approx 25cm long.

tutorial for USB plujg and circuit boad necklace

3. Bend one end of the wire around round nosed pliers.

DIY circuit board and usb plug dog tag style necklace for men

4. Wrap the longer end of wire around the shorter end to make a bail, and cut any excess from the shorter end.

dog tag necklace computer circuit board tutorial

5. Bend the wire around the top of the USB plug. Try to get it into the little grooves in the rubber for added stability. Make sure the bail is at the back of the plug, and bend the other end of the wire around it.

necklace tutorial

6. Wrap the rest of the wire around the top of the plug until it’s completely covered and fits securely.

necklace DIY with circuit board

7. Cut off any excess wire and bend the end into the wrapped wire so that it won’t scratch.

circuit board necklace DIY

8. So far, it should look like this! You could thread it onto a chain and finish here, or continue with some circuit board...

DIY necklace tutorial

9. Open a jump ring by twisting it sideways with flat nosed pliers.

DIY necklace dog tag tutorial

10. Slide the circuit board onto the jump ring and close the jump ring firmly.

circuit board necklace tutorial

11. Add the circuit board to the chain. Either attach the USB plug with a jump ring, or thread the chain through the bail. I opted for a jump ring to give it a more uniform appearance.

how to recycle a broken computer device into a necklace

12. To finish, attach a clasp to the ends of the chain, using jump rings.

how to upcycle your peripherals

Wear it yourself, or give it to your favourite computer genius :)

Jazz up the circuit board and plug with some rhinestones or other embellishments.
Instead of a broken USB plug, use a USB drive. If you’re making it for someone as a gift, you could load it with a message, videos, or pictures.
Spray paint the plug a different colour.

Will be linking up to the parties listed below!


  1. Wow, that is the most creative idea I have seen in a long time. Love it. And it's so difficult to find crafts to make for guys - this is brilliant.

  2. I can't help but see a little foot with 4 little toes on the bottom right of the circuit board, it's too cute! :) x

  3. Great post. Nice blog. Follow each other?

  4. That's great, different from anything else, I like it!

  5. This is so creative! My husband is a computer guy... I'll have to show him this :)

  6. Wow, what a clever and creative necklace. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Reading all your sweet comments makes me happy! :) I appreciate each and every one and try to reply to all that I can!

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